Note: This post was originally published for Thanksgiving 2012…since we had like 12 subscribers to our blog back then I thought it was worth a reprise!
Thanksgiving Day is upon us. For many of us that means spending extra time with those we love and hold dear, especially our extended family we may not get to see on a frequent basis.
And when you get all of those people together, you are bound to have some, well, exciting moments! It’s a legendary story in our family about the year my grandma and stepmom tried to bond while making mashed potatoes. Potatoes were peeled, boiled and drained when things turned for the worse. My grandma went to plug-in the hand mixer for my stepmom when suddenly they both realized the hand mixer was in the “on” position. The cooked-to-tender-perfection potatoes started to fly and ended up everywhere, including the ceiling fan, cabinets, and floor. I’m guessing there are still potato particles somewhere in that kitchen!
So I was thinking this week about that old saying, “You are what you eat” and if that includes our relatives and the Thanksgiving dinner, I think that old adage explains a lot…
TURKEY- You know you have that one relative: the one with the goofy sayings, recycled jokes, and unwavering goal to make everyone laugh around the dinner table. Their humor may be dry like the white meat, or barbaric like the turkey leg. And despite the awkward moments that come along with that bird (have you ever cleaned a turkey out?), you can’t have Thanksgiving without the turkey.
MASHED POTATOES- Unless you’re eating Hungry Jack brand, it’s impossible to get all those lumps out of the potatoes. Sadly, many moms attend Thanksgiving dinner feeling like lumpy, homemade, mashed potatoes from the extra baby pounds or the New Year’s Resolution forgotten in February. Despite our efforts to eliminate carbs for the week before and hit the gym a few extra times, the lumps are still there. And guess what, people LIKE the lumps! It’s how we know they are REAL!
CRANBERRIES- We add a lot of sugar to cranberries and we still end up making a squished, puckered face when we eat them. My guess is someone is going to be at your Thanksgiving dinner that is going to be making faces about something. And despite how much sugar you give them, they may still be a sour puss. Introduce them to the turkey, fast!
SWEET POTATOES- Or yams (I still don’t know the difference). They are the less common relative of mashed potatoes. While you might not eat sweet potatoes much outside of Thanksgiving time, turns out they’re highly nutritious and add flair to the dinner. Kind of like that aunt that never married. Or the cousin who sold everything to move to NYC. You may not see them often, but dinner is a little more interesting because there is a place for them at the table.
PUMPKIN PIE- Classy with a spicy undertone. A perennial favorite that everyone looks forward to seeing. Yup. That’s just how my family would describe me. Okay, that’s how I hope they describe me. Realistically I’m probably more like the mashed potatoes. Sigh.
BUTTER- I don’t care what dish it is, if you add butter, the food tastes better. My Uncle Jeff was like butter. He made every family gathering better. Who is that in your family?
Thanksgiving is supposed to be about giving thanks for our many blessings and enjoying the company of family and friends. I look at my own life and the harvest is great. So why is it that being around our own family can bring out the worst in us? Patience, mercy, and forgiveness somehow go out the window when Grandma questions why your teenager spent the holiday with her boyfriend or why your four year old won’t try the green beans.
Take a deep breath. If we are what we eat, let’s try to feed our brain with a few scriptures to prepare for extra time spent with family and loved ones.
Colossians 3:12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Even if you forget to pack pajamas, you’ll be fine if you’ve packed mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Just don’t forget to put them on!
1 Peter 3:15-16 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.
Don’t miss a chance to share your hope with your family.
1 John 3:18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
And here’s where it gets tricky. Because you may get offended. Or hurt. Or say the wrong thing. Your actions, not words will show your love. Make things right in your actions.
And, for when things really get tough…
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things [Thanksgiving dinner included] through Christ who gives me strength.
God bless you and your families this Thanksgiving. Our MOMentum family is a huge blessing to me.
- Alison Frye has a lot of jobs. Her favorite titles include mom, wife, friend, banker, volunteer, and miracle maker. Okay, that last one is probably not applicable, but the rest are totally true!
- CedarCreek MOMentum exists to connect mothers in all seasons by encouraging and supporting them, while guiding their hearts toward Christ. Subscribe to our blog and never miss another post!